Skip to main content
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Assessment of the European footwear industry

In response to the challenges faced by the European footwear industry, the European Commission ran study of the situation and prospects for future development.


Publication date
26 November 2014
Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry


The study includes reports on restructuring, research and innovation, education and training as well as an analysis of the competitive position of the sector and policy recommendations

The European footwear industry has been subject to a long period of transition since the early 1990s. EU manufacturers have maintained their competitiveness by offshoring the most costly production processes from their home countries to cheaper locations, and introducing cost cutting measures, which have included a reduction in employment within the sector.

In response to these challenges, the European Commission undertook a study on the industry that combined research, a survey of key stakeholders in the sector and case studies in nine different footwear-producing regions in seven EU countries.

The study highlighted that the EU footwear industry will continue to face a series of barriers in the coming years and identified ways in which the various stakeholders could assist the industry to address these barriers.

The study is in seven parts: a survey, five reports on specific areas of competitiveness and a synthesis report.

Summary of the synthesis report  (53 kB) - Full synthesis report 

Survey on the situation of the European footwear sector and prospects for its future development

Executive summary  (18 kB) - Full report  (3 MB)

Research and innovation centres

Executive summary  (31 kB) - Full report  (714 kB)

Small and medium-sized enterprises

Executive summary  (35 kB) - Full report  (800 kB)

Restructuring and modernisation

Executive summary  (46 kB) - Full report  (2 MB)


Executive summary  (47 kB) - Full report  (671 kB)

Research, development and innovation in the footwear sector

Executive summary  (36 kB) - Full report  (723 kB)


25 MARCH 2014
In-depth assessment of the situation of the European footwear sector and prospects for its future development - synthesis report